Seven-day Detox Smoothie Challenge

Photo: Toy Turtle

Photo: Toy Turtle

One great way to help yourself gently detox each day is to have a smoothie.

Juicing is great, but it can be messy and you need a good quality juicer. Another advantage of a smoothie is that you retain the fibre from your fruit and vegetables.

If you’re suffering from hypoglycemia or you’re trying to lose weight, smoothies generally give you longer-lasting energy levels than the quick-release action of pure juice. That’s not to say juicing is bad – it definitely has its place, but a smoothie-a-day will keep the doctor away!

A good quality blender does help, but if you only have a hand-whizzer that’s usually fine. Mixing fruit with vegetables is generally a good idea if you’re new to this. Pure vegetables can be a bit strong-tasting for some people until they get used to the taste and texture.

Banana is always a good base and you can always add a high-quality protein powder, such as Sun Warrior, if you wish. Then just mix in your favorite fruits. Soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries work really well, kiwis are great, and so is papaya. Adding a handful of baby spinach or kale is a good start if you’re not used to the strong veggie taste of other greens. Try a seven-day challenge with one of these every morning and see how you get on. It may not quite as hard as you think!

  • Curly kale, broccoli, watercress, cucumber, fresh basil leaves, banana, pink lady, nectarine, water
  • Baby spinach, broccoli, pak choi, curly parsley, avocado, mango, lemon juice, ginger and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, broccoli, avocado, banana, passionfruit, lemon juice, fresh basil leaves, chia seeds, protein powder and water
  • Broccoli, curly kale, pak choi, tomatoes, carrots, banana, ruby grape fruit, kiwi, passion fruit, fresh ginger and water
  • Curly kale, baby spinach, granny smith, banana, tomatoes, fresh ginger, ruby grapefruit, beetroot and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, broccoli, banana, granny smith, pomegranates, chia seeds, protein powder and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, pak choi, carrot, banana, kiwi, ruby grape fruit, fresh ginger, chia seeds, protein powder and water

If you prefer to follow a more structured plan try this Green Smoothie 7-Day Detox Plan. It’s packed with ideas and menus to help you lose weight, gain more energy and set you up for a lifetime of good health habits. Smoothie combinations and photo: Toy Turtle

The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

MF-cinnamonAdding cinnamon to your mulled wine this winter could help teat or prevent type II diabetes according to research in the US. Studies suggest eating cinnamon improves blood glucose levels and blood fats.

The USDA tested 49 different herbs, spices and medicinal plants for their effects on glucose metabolism. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study showed that the active ingredient in cinnamon, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP, mimics insulin functions, increases cell’s glucose uptake and signals certain cells to turn glucose into glycogen.

Cinnamon may also lower blood pressure. Other studies published in Diabetic Care show cinnamon not only reduced blood sugar levels but also blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in those with type II diabetes.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified phytochemicals in cinnamon, called chalcone polymers, which increase glucose metabolism in the cells by 20 times or more and are powerful antioxidants. Cinnamon also contains anthocyanins that improve capillary function. Classed as a flavonoid, anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants.

From aching muscles to digestive disorders and better eyesight

According to other research at Wheeling Jesuit University in the US, volunteers had a better memory and quicker visual-motor response speed after taking cinnamon. Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and for menstrual problems. In Oriental medicine it is used as a digestive tonic and helps soothe the abdominal region, relieving gas, nausea and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it is a carminative, or gas reliever. Also, catechins, compounds found in cinnamon, help relieve nausea.

Cinnamon is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and anti-fungal agent and calms the nerves. Taken as a tea, it can help people suffering from rheumatism linked to exposure to cold weather.

A word of caution

Cinnamon does have an anti-blood-clotting effect, so do speak to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional if you are taking prescription blood-thinning medication. Large quantities should also be avoided during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the uterus.

Detox with Turmeric Tea

detox with turmeric tea

Columbia University Medical Center found turmeric beneficial in preventing early onset diabetes and obesity as inflammation is involved in both

Known as Indian Gold and widely used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is a member of the ginger family.

Compounds found in turmeric include polyphenols and curcuminoids, which give the spice its bright yellow colour. The most well-studied of these compounds is curcumin, the substance that gives the spice its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to make turmeric tea yourself simply boil four cups of water and add one teaspoon of ground turmeric. Simmer for ten minutes and strain through a fine sieve. Add honey or lemon if you like.

Over the last ten years, a lot of research has been done to find out more about the pharmacological properties and biological activities of curcumin. This polyphenol is well-known for its antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Used in India to relieve arthritis, modern studies have shown it is as effective as the anti-inflammatory, phenylbutazone. Turmeric is also used for muscle pain, joint inflammation and carpal tunnel syndrome.

A number of studies also suggest curcumin has anti-tumour effects. A 2006 study reported in the medical journal Oncogene found curcumin inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells, while a 2007 study by the University of Alabama showed it also inhibited hormones thought to trigger prostate cancer.

Curcumin also has an effect on cholesterol levels and has strong antioxidant properties. Curcumin inhibits lipid peroxidation. Studies have shown the spice protects against powerful oxidizing chemicals used to induce cataracts in rats. The rats given curcumin were protected against damage by the chemical and their eyes also improved.

In Oriental medicine turmeric is used for asthma, candida, eczema and jaundice. It is also used as a post-trauma remedy both internally and topically to reduce inflammation from bruises, swelling and wounds. It helps wound healing by acting as an anti-coagulant and has anti-fungal properties. Other skin uses include acne and boils as it purifies the blood and gives a healthy skin colour and texture.

Cleansing Foods and Drinks – Beetroot

beetrootLike apples, beetroot are a great source of the dietary fibre, pectin. 

They also contain other important nutrients including betaine, which support liver cells in their role of chief detoxification organ.

It has also been associated with lowering homocysteine, a chemical produced when an amino acid called methionine is broken down in the body. Because we all eat protein, we all have some homocysteine in our blood; however, raised levels have shown an increased risk for hardening of the arteries, a precursor for heart attacks and strokes, and also blood clots in the veins.

Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. A diet high in fibre has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, and can also improve digestive health.

However, many people don’t get enough fibre. On average, most people in the UK get about 14g of fibre a day. You should aim for at least 18g a day.

Fibre is only found in foods that come from plants. Foods such as meat, fish and dairy products don’t contain any fibre.

There are two different types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Each type of fibre helps your body in different ways, so a normal, healthy diet should include both types.

We tend to eat beetroot as a salad vegetable but why not try them baked or roasted too? It’s great when it’s juiced as well. If you’re not used to it, try just adding a small amount to your juicer with apple, carrot, and celery — this dilutes the earthy taste of the beetroot. As you get more used to it you can add more.

Looking for a home detox package? We’ve put together two great supplements and a food plan just for you! At Home Detox Programme. Check it out!

 

Detox Dieting 101

detox diet 101A feeling of sluggishness accompanied by a feeling of having a permanently full belly and sometimes indigestion may all be signs that it is time to detoxify your system.

You may feel that you are overweight and if you find that your liver is complaining of excessive toxins, it is important  take note as this might be a wake up call for you.

A very common feeling is a slight nauseous feeling when you see very rich food such as fried stuff or very sweet food. This is a sign that your liver may be struggling and that your system needs to be cleansed – and fast. Now is the time to go on a detox diet for a while and give your body time to rejuvenate.

Detoxification is a systematic plan of reducing, if not completely removing, harmful toxins from the system. There are many detox plans that you can resort to if you need to cleanse your system of harmful toxins. The best plans are natural plans and consist of detox diets that last from 5 to 10 days. There are also detox exercise plans along with the diet that assist the body to get back into shape.

You may also have massages, use meditation and yoga but the best option is a detox diet plan.
A detox diet plan is a plan that will teach you how to eat,  what to eat and when to eat. All these parameters are equally important and need to be learned. When you know the right food that can help you lead a healthy life you are more likely to stick to eating healthy.

A detox diet consists of mainly organic food — mostly green leafy vegetables and fruit. Without harmful ingredients such as preservatives and additives this food is more naturally accepted without your body having to go all out to eliminate the harmful chemicals that go into processing meats and processed foods.

Natural food is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are much needed for the development of a healthy mind and body. Then there are the natural fibers these foods provide the body. These fibers are very necessary for the body to repair tissue.

There is some caution that needs to be observed while on a detox diet though. If you are planning on getting pregnant or already are, it is best that you stick to the diet you are used to until after you have recuperated from your delivery. You will need all the energy you can get. A detox diet will be a drastic change that your body may not be able to take.

Detoxing for Better Skin

Detox for better skinYou might have heard about body detox and all the great things it can do for you.

You probably have also heard that it can help cleanse your colon, remove toxins and waste from the body and help prevent disease and illness. You probably also know that it can give you more energy and boost your immune system.

But did you know that a body detox can also give you a better complexion? If you want to have younger, smoother, healthier looking skin, then a detoxification might just be the way to go. It can make your skin look and feel refreshed. By cleaning out the toxins in your body, the result is that you look and feel healthier all over. Our skin is often a sign of our inner health. People that are unhealthy may have dry, brittle skin, more wrinkles and more signs of age than a healthier person.

Toxins in the body can cause your skin to be pale and dry and look unhealthy. It can contribute to signs of aging earlier as well. When you clean your body deeply from the inside out, you remove these toxins that weigh down on your body and skin and refresh yourself. In the days that follow your detoxification, you should notice your skin becoming healthier and more alive. Over time, this will continue.

Drinking more water — whether it was specified in your detox program or not — will also be very helpful.

There are also special skin detox formulas you can purchase that are specifically for people with problem skin, acne or other skin conditions. There are many specially formulated detox systems that are designed for people that have skin problems or for those that might be experiencing aging and fine lines or wrinkles and just want to rejuvenate their skin.